Chef Kevin Conner sees his food make people better – Food & dining – The Boston Globe

Chef Kevin Conner sees his food make people better – Food & dining – The Boston Globe.

I love this ever-so-brief article about a Chef who creates meals for people who have critical illnesses— I wish I could witness him in action, see his creations, and see the pleasure his meals give to his clients—


French Visual Dictionary



I found this cool site today! Its a visual dictionary of French words. I think it could be helpful in the kitchen! Here’s the link: alimentation et cuisine images – Dictionnaire Visuel. It also has a speaker image you can click to hear the pronunciation of each word.

fines herbes - Le Dictionnaire Visuel

Flans Ricotta Parmesan et Piment

Flans Ricotta Paremesan et Piment

from Le Grand Livre Marabout de la Cuisine Facile 900 Recettes by MaraboutChef

Wow! I loved this recipe! So simple and perfect! This is a French recipe from a cookbook I picked up at our local supermarket. This is my first recipe from it.

My husband and I had 10 people (2 children) for dinner and decided on an Italian theme. We bought some incredible truffle pasta and my husband baked fresh sausage from the Italian store. To have a vegetarian option (for myself and one other person), I decided to make these little babies. Of course, I had no idea that I wouldn’t be able to find Ricotta cheese at the supermarket. Thank goodness for the Italian speciality shop!

I have to say, they were truly perfect. Yes, perfect.

You can make them the day before and then just take them out of the fridge and allow them to come up to room temperature when you are ready to serve them.

2 photos layout showing entre and appetizer flans

Here is my adapted recipe–


  • 20 grams of fresh mixed herbs, such as basil, persil or oregano. I used basil and persil. I couldn’t find fresh oregano at the market.
  • 2 long pieces of red pepper from a jar. These peppers are called “piments rouges” in France. I got a jar of them. They are very, very mild.
  • 1 teaspoon salt.
  • 40 grams finely grated Parmesan cheese.
  • 800 grams Ricotta cheese.
  • 2 eggs.
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon zest.

This recipe is supposed to be for 6 people. BUT, let me tell you, I had a lot of the Ricotta mixture left over! I froze 2 containers full. If you want to make this for more than 6 people, you will have enough of the cheese mixture. So, I’d say if you want to make enough for 12 servings, make an extra, separate batch of the herb/Parmesan and just use that to fill up 6 more muffin tin bottoms. (The reason I would make a separate batch of the herbs/Parmesan is because if you double it and add it to the wet mixture, it could come out too herb-y).

What You Need To Make This Recipe: You need a muffin tin to make these in. I used a silicone “tin” with 6 muffin slots. I put it on a cookie sheet for ease of getting it in and out of the oven. You’ll also need a couple bowls, a cookie sheet, parchment paper, fork, spoon, knife, and grater for the lemon zest. I used extra salt, added pepper and piment douce.

photo of peppers in jar and ground pepper spice

Step 1: The first thing you need to do is chop up your herbs and a couple pieces of pepper, and mix with salt. Next spread your mixture on a piece of parchment paper and bake on a cookie sheet in a 120 Celsius (250 Fahrenheit) oven for about 20 minutes. You are actually creating dried herbs! How cool is that? (Now, I suppose you could do this with store-bought dried herbs, but I think this is a lot of fun and I’m guessing better). When your herbs come out of the oven, if they don’t seem fine enough, just chop them up some more (yes, that is what I had to do,…because I didn’t exactly understand the term “ciselees”).

Step 2: Next take your baked/dried mixture and add the Parmesan to that and mix. Put 1 Tablespoon of the mixture into each muffin tin.

layout with 3 photos. 1 show chopped herbs on parchment. 2nd shows dried herbs. 3rd shows filled muffin tin

Step 3: Change your oven temperature to 180 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit). In a bowl, mix the Ricotta, the eggs, the lemon zest, and the leftover herb/Parmesan mixture. You may want to add seasoning. I did! I added more salt, pepper and piment douce (mild ground red pepper). I think you could add a touch of Hungarian Paprika if you wanted.

Step 4: Spoon your wet mixture into your muffin tin cups, right over the dried herb/Parmesan mixture. I did not fill my muffin tins; I filled them about ¾ full. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes in their mold. Then, carefully unmold them and turn each little cutie upside down (so the dried herb/Parmesan mixture is on the top). Refridgerate once done. Serve at room temperature. (I have to admit I also ate one warm and it was super yummy, so that could be another serving option).

Extra Hints:

Don’t panic if you have funky edges. It is really easy to trim them with a knife. Don’t worry.

If you want to decorate (my husband’s idea) a bit, you can cut some of the peppers up and put on top.

You can serve each person a full round Flan, or you can quarter each one and serve as an appetizer.

flan ratings

Tartine Bakery’s Pots de Creme


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I recently made Pots de Creme from the Tartine Bakery book with my two fabulous buddies, inter-continental! “Inter-continental?”, you ask? Yes. My two art-school buddies and I bake the same recipe over the phone! We have been baking our way thru the Tartine book. I know, how cool is that? We have the best time! This is our first inter-continental session; before I moved to France, we baked cross-country!

3 photos of Pots de Creme.

I have to say I was rather underwhelmed by this recipe. It was fun to make and easy to make, but truthfully, it wasn’t very tasty. My hubby and I really didn’t like it. Maybe I need to try better chocolate? I don’t think there were problems with the substitutions — there wasn’t anything too challenging to figure out or locate.

photos of substitutions for recipe. French chocolate and French heavy creme

I halved the recipe and put 2 of the Pots de Creme in the fridge for the next day and they were, frankly, inedible.  So, would I make it again? I would try a French recipe and see if it is better.

my ratings for pots de creme

New Cookbook



photo of the cover of new cookbook

Woo hoo! Just bought a new cookbook. I am so addicted to cookbooks. It’s not even funny.

This is called “A vos fouets, prêts… pâtissez !” by Hachette and boasts of having 2,000 recipes! And super bonus,…a photograph of EACH recipe, and many techniques photographed and illustrated. The downside for me,…its in French. But, I’ve gotta learn! And what a better way to learn! So, I will be baking from this book and from Dorie’s new book and from Baking with Julia on this blog. Maybe some other stuff too! Probably!

What will I make first? Hmmm….

Dorie Greenspan’s Brown-Butter-and-Vanilla-Bean Weekend Cake

The recipe for January 27th for Tuesdays with Dorie is Brown-Butter-and-Vanilla-Bean Weekend Cake from Dorie‘s newest cookbook, Baking Chez Moi. I just got the book the other day and this is the first recipe I have made from it.

I’m using French ingredients with an American recipe. Here are the ingredients I used. I’m wondering if my cake puffed up as much as it should have. I’m wondering if all baking powder is the same (regardless of whether it is French or American). Or maybe I need a different type of flour.

photo of the different ingredients I used for my recipeI thought the cake came out great, but perhaps more dense and less puffy than I would have liked. Like Dorie says, it is even better the next day. I wrapped it in silver paper and my hubby and I toasted it the next day,…yummers! My husband has eaten it 2 morning is a row,…which is high praise!

photo of my cake on a long plate, partially slicedThe recipe was fun to make! I loved making the beurre noisette, which I had never done before. I also appreciated that I could make the whole recipe by hand (which works for me since I don’t have a stand mixer). The recipe was easy to make. Mine baked for exactly 65 minutes. I tented the top just a little before the 30 minute mark. I substituted Madera for the Rum. I used vanilla extract rather than vanilla bean (just being thrifty).

I would make this again! I think this would be a great recipe to make when you have guests staying over. Just pop slices into the toaster the next morning,…heavenly!

photo of 2 pieces of toasted cake, one with a couple bites taken out of it

Hello Friends!


Hello Friends! Welcome to my new blog! I’m here to have fun blogging about my baking/cooking adventures in my new home in France. I’ll be baking both American and French recipes. I’m going to begin with my favorite American cookbook writer, Dorie Greenspan. I’m going to be baking along with the group at Tuesdays with Dorie. I had previously baked along briefly with the French Fridays with Dorie group, but stopped,… I’m super excited about Tuesdays with Dorie because it focuses on baking and I love to bake and love to eat baked goods (unfortunately for me). I have both the books, Baking with Julia and Dorie’s newest book, Baking Chez Moi. Here is Dorie’s author page on Tomorrow I’ll be posting on my first recipe from Baking Chez Moi, Brown-Butter-and-Vanilla-Bean Weekend Cake!